We can’t control the way our hair decides to grow, we can manage how we decide to deal with it. My not-so-thick hair and I know that having fine hair comes with a whole lot of maintenance. So, in an effort to support my fellow unit of fine-haired sisters, I tagged a group of amazing hairstylists to coach us through our day-to-day hair obstacles. Follow these rules to keep your wispy strands in their happiest, healthiest state.
1. Maintain regular haircuts and trims
To make your hair the strongest—and even longest—it can be, the key is getting your hair trimmed on a regular basis. “Fine hair needs more frequent trims than other types of hair because it’s more susceptible to split ends,” says Kessler. “These will just work their way up the hair shaft and make the strand even thinner.” There’s no magic number here since everyone’s hair type is a bit different, but stylists estimate around every six to eight weeks as the marker for setting another appointment.
2. Apply scalp oils
Before you dip at the word oils, hear us out. According to Dr. Shainhouse, scalp oils can help provide a nourishing environment for hair to grow. “This is generally used to help moisturize the scalp and strengthen the skin barrier with hydrating oils like argan, shea, almond, sunflower, and safflower.” Another plus? The act of rubbing and massaging these oils into the scalp can increase circulation and stimulate hair growth.
3. Brush your hair daily
Fine hair tends to tangle more easily, which, when left alone, can lead to breakage. Don’t be scared by the hair falling out—brushing finer hair is a great way to stimulate the scalp and encourage growth, says Shafer. “When brushing, hold onto the hair closest to the scalp to gently detangle. Make sure to use a brush with soft or flexible bristles, like a natural boar bristle brush, as opposed to one with stiff bristles, as this will help you brush through without applying too much stress.”
4. Limit heat styling
Because fine hair is so, well, fine, it is especially vulnerable to breakage, which is why excess heat styling is generally not advised. But if you must style your hair (we love our curls), try using hair rollers instead of a curling iron. “Divide the section of hair you’re rolling based on the diameter of the roller (so if the roller is two inches in diameter, use a two-inch section of hair),” says Abdullah. “The trick to creating volume with rollers is to roll at a 90-degree angle to your head and roll all the way down to the scalp to secure it.”
5. Air-dry your hair 75 percent.
Fine hair should always abide by the 75 percent rule. “This refers to air-drying your hair until it is about 75 percent dry,” says Michon Kessler, a hairstylist at Haven Salon Studios. “Wet hair is the most vulnerable to stretching and breaking while being pulled.” After that, Kessler advises blow drying upside down to add extra shape and volume at the roots. This will produce the perfect blown-out look while minimizing damage.
6. Choose a volumizing shampoo, and a clarifying shampoo once a week.
The most important step for styling fine hair starts in the shower. Stay away from sulfates—detergents found in many shampoos—which can weaken hair follicles over time, making your hair susceptible to breakage and the appearance of thinning. “Using a volumizing shampoo can help plump up the roots and add nutrients back to depleted strands,” says Nunzio Saviano, a hairstylist in New York City. “Work in a clarifying shampoo about once a week to get rid of additional buildup, leaving hair appearing fuller and denser.”
7. Switch up your style.
Sorry to disappoint, but you can’t actually make hair thicker. However, with the right styling, you can make those fine strands of yours look fuller than they really are. “A deep side part can give the illusion of fullness, while a jagged part makes the top layers stick up, giving the illusion of thicker hair,” says celebrity hairstylist Martino Cartier. Another thickening hack? Ask your hairstylist for lowlights or highlights. “The depth of the low light and the accent of the highlight tricks the eye into seeing more hair than there actually is,” says Kessler.
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